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Creating a Great Customer Experience 101

Last Updated on May 13, 2013 by Jenna Scaglione

light bulbIt’s all too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of owning and operating an Ecommerce store. Order fulfillment, emails, sales, inventory, dropshipping and more can overwhelm your every day and cause you to put aside some mundane, yet crucial strategies. This can become a problem if your regular, daily tasks overshadow one of the most important aspects of your store…your customer’s experience.

Measuring the customer experience is not as glamorous as processing orders and watching your bank account rise, but it is vitally important. The rewards are not immediately visible, but when implemented, the long term foundation of your business will be secure which will result in increased customer retention, consumer loyalty, and overall profits.

How do you create a great customer experience?

Let’s start with some top strategies:

Know Your Customers

What are your customer’s needs?
Where do they hang out?
What are their biggest questions?
Are they frustrated with your site experience?
Is there anything they would improve upon regarding your products?

Knowing you customers reaches far beyond just selling a product to anyone who will buy and waiting for feedback. It requires heavy research into the demographic to really understand what makes them tick. The insights you will gain from this process will filter into many of your current strategies to improve them.

–          Consider polling your customers asking them about their experience with your products and your website.

–          Have a blog? Check out the comments to get a “feel” for your customers’ perceptions on your products or the industry at large.

–          Improvements in your checkout process alone could equate to dozens more sales. One of the best ways to discover website issues is to participate in usability testing. Search for usability testing software on the web which will enable you to track your customers’ behavior and observe where they leave your site and where they get stuck. You can also hire a user tester (usertesting.com) to create a video while performing an action on your site. The user will verbally talk about the experience giving you a better understanding of how a visitor behaves when using your website. This information is valuable especially since it’s easy for website owners to be biased about their own websites.

Where are your customers hanging out?

If you want to build a community of consumer advocates for your brand, you must engage with them in their turf.

This equates to social communities like Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Don’t just create a social account anywhere, however. Find out where the majority of your customers are talking and focus on those verticals. Just because LinkedIn is one of the most popular networks does not mean it is where you want to focus your efforts. LinkedIn is a B2B network and may not be applicable to the B2C audience. In addition, check out more industry-specific social networks and forums to research and interact with your customers. Join the conversation and show them you are the industry leaders who are not afraid to engage and communicate with them.

These basic strategies form the foundation of a great customer experience. When implemented, they will kickstart the creation of loyal customers who will not only remember your brand when it comes time to buy, but who will also spread the word to others.

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